WOOD® magazine Senior Design Editor Kevin Boyle has been incorporating veneer into his furniture and gift projects for more than 30 years.
Object on table with pump on table.


® magazine Senior Design Editor Kevin Boyle has been incorporating veneer into his furniture and gift projects for more than 30 years, and using a lot of different tools during that time for applying it. These are his favorites.

(Shown above) Thomas 1⁄20 -hp diaphragm vacuum pump

no. 5Z346, $303
It doesn't take a large pump to do the job, just one that can evacuate the air from the bag before the glue starts to set. This pump runs quietly while creating a maximum 22" Hg. You'll need to add a male-threaded 14 " hose-barb fitting and 4–5' of 14 "-ID rubber tubing, available at hardware stores.
800-472-4643, grainger.com

(Shown above) VS Elite polyurethane vacuum bag

  • 2×9', no. elitebg2×9, $171
  • I really like the flexibility of a polyurethane bag versus a lower-priced vinyl bag because it conforms better to workpieces. This bag (open at both ends) comes with a built-in valve and one end closure; I recommend buying another closure (no. sb-closure, $13). This size bag works for most projects, but you can buy larger and thicker bags if needed.
  • Veneer Supplies
  • veneersupplies.com

(Shown above) Lock-on vacuum connector and brass connector adapter fitting

  • no. lockonconn, $12.80; no. tubeadptr2, $8.20
  • The quick-connect coupler secures the hose to the bag's port without tools, letting you position the workpiece in the bag before connecting the hose/pump. Mate the tubing to the quick-connect coupler with the adapter.
  • Veneer Supplies
  • veneersupplies.com

Pax veneer saw

Scraping tool.

no. 33T0828, $26.50
Made especially for cutting veneer, this saw works perfectly when cuttting single sheets.
Lee Valley
800-871-8158, leevalley.com

Veneer glue roller

Type of paint roller.

no. glurllr6, $11.90
Spread glue quickly and evenly with this 6"-wide roller.
Veneer Supplies

Makita 36-volt tracksaw

Skill saw on track.
  • no. XPS01PTJ, $500; 55" guide rail, no. 194368-5, $90
  • For cutting a stack of veneer, nothing beats this saw and track combo for creating perfectly straight, tear-out-free edges.
  • Makita
  • 800-462-5482, makitatools.com

Metabo HPT plunges into the cordless-router market

Router on board.

no. M3612DA, $400
With battery-powered routers becoming almost as common as cordless drills these days, this 36-volt model impressed me as the first cordless dedicated plunge router. On one charge, I used it all weekend building a linen cabinet (as well as making various testing cuts), and it never bogged down, even when I routed 12 "-deep grooves in dense white oak. I like the variable-speed range (11,000–25,000 rpm), letting me set the appropriate motor speed for each bit.

This router plunges just a whisker less than 2", sufficient for nearly any woodworking task. Two of the three turret stops offer adjustment, and the depth-rod lock held reliably when I made multiple plunges to the same depth. I found the plunge-lock lever clumsy to operate, but it held fast when secured.

You pay a premium for the cordless convenience, but Metabo HPT increases the value by including a bunch of handy accessories: 14 " and 12 " collets, an edge guide, six two-piece guide bushings, a guide-bushing adapter for the subbase, a dust-collection hood, a nice canvas bag with zippered pockets for the accessories, and, of course, the battery and charger.
—Tested by Bob Hunter, Tools Editor
Metabo HPT
800-706-7337, metabo-hpt.com

Lift less with this pivoting panel cart

Man using pivoting panel cart.

no. 167545, $210
The older I get, the harder it becomes to manhandle heavy sheet goods onto the tablesaw or workbench. So I truly appreciate how this cart takes over the brunt of the heavy lifting: I only have to load sheets onto its sturdy hooks, and then tilt the rack to slide the sheets onto a horizontal worksurface, typically my tablesaw or workbench. With 9" of vertical adjustment, you should be able to easily match most any surface in your shop; maximum height is 45". And with two 4" locking swivel casters, I never have to worry about the cart scooting away from me. I also appreciate the cart's small footprint (slightly more than 18×18"), which stores small and goes through narrow doors easily.
—Tested by Craig Ruegsegger, Deputy Editor
800-225-1153, woodcraft.com

Woodcraft adds a twist with new F-style clamps

Clamp tools.

WoodRiver Quick Twist bar clamps, 6" no. 176124, $25; 12" no. 176125, $27; 18" no. 176126, $30
These clamps center the handles around the bars, providing knuckle room in tight quarters. The jaws measure 338 " tall and have plastic face pads to prevent workpiece damage. Woodcraft says these clamps can achieve a maximum of 330 pounds of clamping force.
800-225-1153, woodcraft.com

Organize your drills and accessories

Battery powered tools in a wall holder.

Cordless drill station, no. CDS, $170
This powder-coated-steel rack stores cordless drills, chargers, and accessories in a compact 9×9×2312 " size. In addition to the slots for four drill/drivers, you get cutouts for charger cords and small hand tools, such as screwdrivers and pliers, and four small drawers for storing fasteners and accessories.
800-752-0725, woodpeck.com